AS she prepares to head out on the road for the next two months, Kristina Rihanoff admits that although she’s excited about her new dance show, it’s going to be a big wrench leaving two-year-old daughter Mila behind.

The former Strictly Come Dancing favourite - she appeared on eight series of the top TV show before leaving in 2015 - will be bringing Dance to the Music to the West Cliff Theatre in Clacton next week, as part of a 40-date UK tour.

As well as starring alongside professional partner Robin Windsor, Kristina has also choreographed the show which will provide a history of dance over the past 100 years.

“It’s going to be hard leaving Mila,” says Kristina. “But it’s no different for me as any other mum going back to work. It’s not as though I’m dreading going back to work. The show is such an exciting prospect. And we have planned the tour to allow me to get home as much as possible. There will be a lot of driving but it’ll be worth it.”

Mila is Kristina and partner Ben Cohen’s first child together. The couple met when rugby ace Ben was Kristina’s celebrity partner on Strictly in 2013.

“Ben is an incredible father,” Kristina adds. “Without his support and understanding I would never have been able to do the show.”

Dance to the Music also stars another Strictly favourite Oksana Platero and her husband Jonathan Platero and other professional dancers plus singers, X Factor runner-up Chris Maloney and Beth Sherburn.

In her time on Strictly, Kristina had some celebrity partners better than others. For every Simon Webbe, with whom she scored a number of maximums, there was always a John Sergeant.

“One thing I learned,” she says, “was that you have different partner every year and what might work for one might not work well with another.”

Dance To The Music is at Clacton’s West Cliff Theatre on February 2 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available by calling 01255 433344.